For over 160 years, Knoedler & Company has had an enduring role in the history of American art dealing. The name “Knoedler” spans three centuries, and over the course of time affiliated living artists have extended from Frederic E. Church (the Hudson River School) to Helen Frankenthaler (the New York School). The gallery was established in lower Manhattan in 1846 by Michael Knoedler, who was then acting on behalf of Goupil & Company, the renowned French firm of engravers. In the beginning, our dealings were primarily in prints and artist's materials.
The gallery’s annotated sales and stock books, dating from the mid-19th century, tell a fascinating story that runs parallel to the growth of New York City and of the country as a whole. The immense industrial expansion and new era of the railroad that followed the Civil War (at a time when Knoedler traded paintings for gold) made a significant impact upon the world of art. Many of our clients, since that period, are still familiar to the current generation as founders of great American fortunes: the Vanderbilt family, the Astors, Henry M. Flagler, Catharine Lorillard Wolfe, H.O. and Louisine Havemeyer, the Rockefeller family, Andrew and Paul Mellon, Robert Sterling Clark and Stephen Clark, Henry Clay Frick, and others. Their patronage, in turn, established some of our nation's most important art institutions.
As our gallery grew, so too has its extensive art library, considered to be among the finest in private hands. Actively expanding, the Knoedler Library is currently comprised of more than 60,000 volumes and provides the gallery with an invaluable research support.
Today, as in the past, we champion the art of our time—representing a select group of post-war and contemporary artists, estates, and foundations. With dedication to our exhibition program and publications, we also continue to present painting, sculpture, and photography through special loan exhibitions, collaborative projects, and invitationals. As advocates for the artist, we likewise guide and educate the collector. Our long-term associations with artists, and those who represent them, are a constant source of gratification and pride.